Mental Health Monday #38: Seasonal depression, mindfulness for Black women, Black family health secrets, etc.

 Photo: Woman of Color Healing Retreats

Photo: Woman of Color Healing Retreats

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's Mental Health Monday, Kendrick Lamar opened up about depression and suicidal ideations in his music, Stacey Patton explored why Black kids are killing themselves, the Army relaxes its policies on soliders with mental health challenges, etc. Come get your blessing. Have a gander.

Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Assistant Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences professor at Feinberg School of Medicine, explores how simple mindfulness exercises can do wonders for stressed, disadvantaged Black women.

EVENTS

Sunday, December 10. Chicago, IL. Self-Care Sunday by Black Girl in Om

On Sunday, December 10th from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m., join us at REUNION, located at 2557 W North Avenue, as we continue our Chicago-based Self-Care Sunday series. You will be guided in a soulful yoga flow, meditation, and reflection guided by Lauren Ash, and will enjoy connecting with the Chicago Black Girl In Om community. ($20) RSVP here. 

March 4 - 18. Cahuita, Costa Rica. Women Of Color Healing Retreat

Women of Color Healing Retreats was created out of the desire to connect women with nature and seeks to provide a space of learning, healing, and nurturing that so often alludes black women. In order to build sustainable communities that value the intersections of cultural identity, women of color must first rediscover who they are outside of a society that wishes to stunt organic spiritual growth and self-love. Women of Color Healing Retreats is a space for all black women, as they fully honor the diversity of black identity. It is a space for all bodies, all sexual orientations, all socioeconomic statuses, all political ideologies, and all levels of traditional or radical thought. Info & RSVP here.

May 20 - 29. Cahuita, Costa Rica. Women Of Color Yoga Retreat

Black Women Yoga Retreats is the first international yoga retreat dedicated to black women who are passionate about their love of yoga. It is a space where black women can grow, practice and learn yoga and meditation in a community environment and safe space. It is a space located outside of the United States, in the middle of nature, so that Black women may be able to connect with their minds, bodies and spirits through their yoga and meditation practices. Info & RSVP here.

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS:

"To all Black families: Remember to speak up about any health concerns today" by Monique Reed [The Grio]

There is a lack of communication in African American communities on the importance of seeking preventive appointments with primary care providers and managing care with their providers.

These conversations are important in preventing and managing disease. And the holidays are the ideal time to have them—before it is too late.

"Here Are A Few Ways To Deal With Seasonal Affective Disorder AKA Holiday Blues" by Tanay Hudson [Madame Noire]

Folks who deal with SAD may dread the holidays due to feeling like they will be alone. If there is no where you can go to get some Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, how about spending the day giving back to those less fortunate? Giving back to the community is a fulfilling way to spend the holidays. Some people are stuck in the hospital while others homeless. Head out to your nearest children’s or Veteran’s hospital or soup kitchen and service others who would appreciate you taking the time to spend the holidays with them.

"Six Reasons Why It's Important For Black Women To Meditate" by Nia Phillip [Creative Smart Girl] 

Improve mental capacity. There are harsh effects that come with dealing with your reality as a Black woman, that often come in the package of a disease. Depression, hypertension and cancer have all been linked to dealing with biases in our daily lives. Meditating can help you deal with the emotions that your life may trigger.

"A Message to Queer Black Men Considering Suicide" by Steven-Emmanuel Martinez [Newer Negroes]

There is something incredibly cruel and sinister about being prone to believing that depression happens to every queer black man, and that it’s a functional part of our existence. And yet, there are a considerable amount of us that have suffered from feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, unresolved trauma, relapses, body image issues, and an inability to heal from continued suffering. Sometimes these issues get dealt with, most times they get left unresolved, but often it folds itself into something more permanent like suicide.

"We All Wear Mask: A Battle With Smiling Depression" by Nicole Caudle [Grits & Grace]

It has taken me some time to finally sit down and write this, but I feel like it’s a story that needs to be shared. Coming to terms with anxiety and depression have been tough. Years ago I developed PPD after giving birth to my daughter, which only intensified after having two miscarriages a few years later.

Dealing with a divorce, becoming a single parent, living with her parents and numerous other stresses in my life have hit me head on, often in ways, I would have never imagined. Since I’ve never been one to vent my true personal feelings to others or even relay the message of “I’m hurting”, I did what I always do: I smiled.

"Mindfulness combats depression for disadvantaged black women" by Kristin Samuelson [Northwestern Now]

African-American women with lower socio-economic status have an increased risk of depressive disorders, yet they rarely seek out antidepressants or psychotherapy because of negative attitudes and stigma associated with conventional mental health treatments.

A new pilot Northwestern Medicine study showed that eight weeks of mindfulness training helped alleviate their depressive symptoms and reduce stress, providing an effective alternative to more conventional treatment.

If you have a mental health resource, event, or piece of content we should know about, step into our office. You da bess.